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Laboratoire Mixte CNRS/Aventis (UMR 1932), Aventis CropScience, Lyon, France; e-mail:


Biotin is an essential cofactor for a small number of enzymes involved mainly in the transfer of CO2 during HCO-3-dependent carboxylation reactions. This review highlights progress in plant biotin research by focusing on the four major areas of recent investigation: the structure, enzymology, and localization of two important biotinylated proteins (methylcrotonoyl-CoA carboxylase involved in the catabolism of leucine and noncyclic isoprenoids; acetyl-CoA carboxylase isoforms involved in a number of biosynthetic pathways); the biosynthesis of biotin; the biotinylation of biotin-dependent carboxylases, including the characterization of biotin holocarboxylase synthetase isoforms; and the detailed characterization of a novel, seed-specific biotinylated protein. A central challenge for plant biotin research is to determine in molecular terms how plant cells regulate the flow of biotin to sustain the biotinylation of biotin-dependent carboxylases during biosynthetic reactions.

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